Men's Team

Wright-Phillips - Brilliant De Bruyne sees the picture before it arrives!

City legend Shaun Wright-Phillips has paid Kevin De Bruyne the ultimate compliment by describing the Etihad midfielder as the Premier League's finest player.

The Belgian international - winner of back-to-back PFA Player of the Season awards and one of five City nominees for this year's Ballon d'Or prize – has long been established as one of the pivotal figures in Pep Guardiola’s squad.

And, speaking on the latest edition of the official Man City Podcast, former City and England winger Wright-Phillips, now a respected pundit and observer of the game, hailed De Bruyne as a class apart, describing how he ‘sees the picture before it arrives’.

“For me he is the best,” Wright-Phillips told the official Man City Podcast.


“It’s one of those things where people say it’s an opinion.

“Some might say Bruno Fernandes (is the best), but for me Kev doesn’t care too much about free-kicks and penalties; all he cares is about is putting on a blue shirt and playing well.

“The chances he creates from the position he creates them, sometimes I look and it’s like: 'How did he even see that so early? I can see it watching from TV but how can he see that so early?'

“The quality that he brings into the game is just frightening.

“He sees the picture before it arrives. And I think the players he plays with - especially Raheem Sterling - they understand that.

“He can get the ball, turn and whip it into the box and Raheem just knows it’s coming.


“They have created an understanding, And I think as a player, if you are playing with Kevin De Bruyne and if you can get on his level of thinking you are always gonna have success.”

Over the course of illuminating and wide-ranging Podcast, former England international Wright-Phillips, who played at the 2010 World Cup finals, also spoke about how crucial City were to Gareth Southgate’s current Three Lions set-up.

Five City players - John Stones, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker and Phil Foden all helped England reach this summer's EURO 2020 final.

And, ahead of England’s latest 2022 World Cup qualifier against Hungary on Tuesday, SWP highlighted, in particular, the key individual impact for club and country of right-back Walker.

Furthermore, Wright-Phillips tipped the 31-year-old to carry on playing at the highest level for several years yet.

“I think he is massive, especially as when City have the ball, we are always susceptible to counter attacks as that is basically how teams play against us,” Wright-Phillips added.

“To have someone like that with the maturity levels he has shown over the past few years is incredible.

“Players get the ball and even if they are past him, they are still scared of him. They know he’s coming from behind


“It’s like he’s hunting – you can just see him coming – he is so powerful and quick that if you don’t cut across him, he is just going to catch you and move you away and go away with the ball.

“The maturity he has shown – especially where he played centre half – that helped his defensive position a lot more He looks like he’s going to be playing until he’s 40 to be honest with you

“For me if you are training every day and working on your leg muscles it won’t go any time.

“For me he can play as long as someone like Ronaldo really.”

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